I’m trying a few things out here on the Watch List, so bear with us as we work out the kinks and make this post as efficient as possible. As always, feedback is welcomed.
There are a few interesting series to watch this weekend, certainly more than there had been the last few days. They include (all stats and records as of Friday Morning):
– Athletics (71-55, 2.5 GB in AL West, T-1st in Wild Card) at Orioles (68-58, 5.5 GB in AL East, 3.0 GB in Wild Card)
- Friday at 7 ET/4 PT
- Saturday at 4 ET/1 PT (FOX – Justin Kutcher, Mitch Williams)
- Sunday at 1:35 PM ET/10:35 AM PT
What you should know: The Athletics recently dropped 2 of 3 to (my) Mariners in Oakland after playing sloppy defense and uncharacteristic performances from the Oakland bullpen, prompting usually level-headed manager Bob Melvin to call out his team. We’ll see if he was able to rally the troops, while his catching unit has taken a few knocks lately. And for the O’s, Chris Davis had trailed off in July but has picked things back up in August. His team has followed suit, 15-15 since the All-Star break.
Pitchin…nothing to see here folks. No pitching matchups of note.
– Braves (77-50, 1st in NL East) at Cardinals (74-53, 0.5 GB in NL Central, 1.5 lead in Wild Card)
- Friday at 8:15 ET/5:15 PT (MLB Network – Local Broadcast)
- Saturday at 7:15 ET/4:15 PT
- Sunday at 2:15 PM ET/11:15 AM PT (TBS – Dick Stockton, John Smoltz)
What you should know: After taking a pitch to the jaw from Jonathan Niese, Jason Heyward is done for the year, dealing the Braves a huge blow, though they’re in no way in danger of missing the playoffs as they lead the NL East by 14.0 games. The Cardinals have gladly welcomed back Yadier Molina, who enters Friday within fractions of a percentage point of the lead in the NL batting title race.
Pitching matchup to watch: Friday – Medlen (24 starts, 148.0 IP, 3.71 ERA, 115 K/38 BB) vs. Wainwright (33 starts, 230.1 IP, 2.42 ERA, 213 K/56 BB)
– Yankees (67-59, 4th in AL East – 6.5 GB, 4.0 GB in Wild Card) at Rays (72-53, 2nd in AL East, 1.5 lead in Wild Card)
- Friday at 7:10 ET/4:10 PT
- Saturday at 7:10 ET/4:10 PT
- Sunday at 1:40 PM ET/10:40 AM PT
What you should know: Heading into Thursday, the ever-banged-up Yankees had won 9 of their last 11 and look poised to, somehow, once again make it to the postseason. The Rays however are 8-4 in their last 12 and have been consistent all season with great starting pitching, just the right amount of offense and great managing from the mind of Joe Maddon.
Pitching matchup to watch: Friday – Kuroda (25 starts, 160.1 IP, AL-best 2.41 ERA, 116 K/28 BB) vs. Archer (15 starts, 88.1 IP, 2.95 ERA, 62 K/30 BB)
Saturday – Sabathia (26 starts, 171.1 IP, 4.83 ERA, 145 K/49 BB) vs. Price (19 starts, 131.1 IP, 3.29 ERA, 106 K/19 BB)
– Red Sox (75-54, 1st in AL East) at Dodgers (75-52, 1st in AL East)
- Friday at 10:10 ET/7:10 PT
- Saturday at 4:05 ET/1:05 PT (FOX – Kenny Albert, Eric Byrnes
- Sunday at 8:05 ET/5:05 PT (ESPN – Dan Shulman, Curt Schilling, John Kruk)
What you should know: This matchup between two of the best teams in baseball pits the visiting Red Sox – featuring top prospect Xander Bogaerts and the hot hitters Daniel Nava and David Ortiz – against a team that is taking hotness to new heights. The Dodgers are 28-5 since the all-star break, 45-10 since June 22 and return home from a two-city east coast swing that saw them go 5-2.
Pitching matchup to watch: Saturday – Lester (26 starts, 165.0 IP, 4.09 ERA, 135 K/53 BB) vs. Ryu (24 starts, 155.2 IP, 2.95 ERA, 126 K/45 BB)
Also of note: Tigers at Mets gives us two intriguing pitching matchups. On Friday, Doug Fister takes on the newly acquired Daisuke Matsuzaka, and on Saturday, it’s Harvey vs. Scherzer (4:05 PM ET/1:05 PM PT on FOX – Kevin Burkhardt, Ron Allen), as Cy Young candidates from both leagues square off and the Tigers lineup presents the New York youngster with likely his toughest test of his career yet.
Bundesliga – Borussia Dortmund vs. Werder Bremen, 2:30 PM ET/11:30 AM PT (GolTV)
Ligue 1 – AS Monaco vs. Toulouse, 2:30 PM ET/11:30 AM PT (beIN Sport)
MLS – Chicago vs. Kansas City, 8:30 ET/5:30 PT (NBCSN – John Strong, Kyle Martino, Russ Thaler)
Dylan’s take: You remember that whole “Robbie Rogers coming out” thing? Obviously, that was a great moment on so many levels. Lost in it though was that Mike Magee went to Chicago. Magee’s always been a talented player, but his star had been hidden by the likes of Robbie Keane, Landon Donovan and David Beckham. In Chicago, the 28-year old Magee has flourished and is currently tied for first in MLS with 14 goals – 8 with Chicago – a career high for the Chicago native. Needless to say, the prodigal son has returned home.
– Fulham vs. Arsenal, 7:15 AM ET/4:15 AM PT, NBCSN (British Commentary)
– Everton vs. West Bromwich Albion, 10 AM ET/7 AM PT
– Southampton vs. Sunderland, 10 AM ET/7 AM PT, NBCSN (British Commentary)
Dylan’s take: Great to see NBCSN providing the American viewing public with fan favorite Jozy Altidore, against a Southampton side that has recently improved by adding Pablo Osvaldo from Roma for a little over $20 Million.
– Aston Villa vs. Liverpool, 12:30 PM ET/9:30 AM PT, NBC (Arlo White, Lee Dixon)
Dylan’s Take: NBC again showcases a US International in Goalkeeper Brad Guzan as his Aston Villa squad – also featuring the talented striker Christian Benteke (who already has three goals in just two matches) – takes on Brendan Rodgers and Liverpool, who are coming off a 1-0 win over Stoke City in Week 1.
Bundesliga – Bayer Leverkeusen vs. Borussia Monchengladbach, 9:30 AM ET/6:30 AM PT
– FC Dallas vs. San Jose, 9 PM ET/6 PM PT
– Vancouver Whitecaps vs. Los Angeles Galaxy, 9 PM ET/6 PM PT
– Real Salt Lake vs. Columbus Crew, 9:30 PM ET/6:30 PM ET (MLS.com Free Stream of the Week)
– Tottenham Hotspur vs. Swansea City, 11 AM ET/8 AM PT, NBCSN (British Commentary)
Dylan’s take: It’s becoming more and more real that Gareth Bale will indeed be departing White Hart Lane and headed for the Santiago Bernabeu, but Spurs have more than prepared with moves made during the offseason. Time will tell if their additions will be enough to make up for the loss of the reigning EPL player of the year.
– Cardiff City vs. Manchester City, 11 AM ET/8 AM PT, Premier League Extra Time (British Commentary)
Dylan’s take: City dominated Newcastle this past Monday and will look to continue the great start to the season as they visit Cardiff, who fell 2-0 away to West Ham in their opener.
La Liga – Malaga vs. Barcelona, 3 PM ET/12 PM PT, beIN Sport, beIN Spanish
Serie A – Lazio vs. Udinese, 2:45 PM ET/11:45 AM PT
MLS – Seattle Sounders FC vs. Portland Timbers, 10 PM ET/7 PM PT, ESPN2 (Adrian Healey, Taylor Twellman with Alexi Lalas)
Dylan’s take: This is big, even if you’re not a big fan of either side as I am of Seattle Sounders. One of if not the biggest derbies in Major League Soccer, this has the added factor of being the home debut of one Clint Dempsey, in front of 67,000 fans no less. Portland will be without Diego Chara who is on yellow card accumulation after Wednesday’s match vs. RSL, and Seattle has a whole host of injury questions. This is also the first time in the history of the MLS incarnation of this rivalry that Portland has been ahead of Seattle this late in the season.